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Hear dem Bells 1
All day I works in de cotton an* de corn, My feet and my hands are sore, Waiting for Gabriel to blow his horn, So I won't have to work any more.
Chorus Hear dem bells — oh, don't you hear dem bells? Dey's ringing out de glory of de dawn. Hear dem bells — oh, don't you hear dem bells? Dey's ringing out de glory of de dawn.
I sings an' I shouts wid all my might To drive away de cold; An' de bells keep a-ringin' in de gospel light, Tell de story of de Lamb is told.
I goes to church in de early morn, De birds all a-settin' in de tree, Sometimes my clothes gets very much worn, 'Case I wear dem out at de knee.
The darky in the song fragment sent me by Mrs. Cammilla Brea-zeale, of Louisiana, was evidently in a mournful and resentful mood. His razor sounds alarmingly bellicose.
Workin' on de levee,
Yes, I am, Wid my razor in my hand. Don't love nobody —
Nobody loves me.
The Negro is considered to be temperamentally indifferent to the value of time, evidently feeling with Browning that time is for dogs and apes — and, he might add, white folks. Ee has eternity. Yet he on occasion feels a sense of the importance of passing hours, as in the stanza given by Betty Jones (through the courtesy of Professor J. C. Metcalfe, of the University of Virginia), where he looks at his watch — the sun.
Look at the sun, See how he run — God Almighty'll catch you With your work undone!